Drawing your gun is directly connected to how you holster your gun. How to move through the draw depends entirely on where you draw your gun from. Your decision on how to concealed carry your firearm is very important. There is a multitude of factors to consider when selecting your method.
The clothing you wear each day will likely require different holsters to be worn in different ways with your different styles. The draw of a firearm from a bra holster will be different than from the draw from an ankle holster.
Practice Your Draw or Don’t Carry!
Practicing your draw from all holsters that you use, including CC purses is absolutely necessary! Having the nicest gun and having the shooting skills of a world champion isn’t going to do you much good if you can’t access and draw your gun safely and quickly enough to get on target to stop the threat. Throw in some major stress and adrenaline and you are in big trouble.
Practice is necessary so that a safe and quick motion comes quickly and naturally to you. This can only be accomplished with repeated and regular practice. Many holsters like the bra holster are a plastic clamshell design which requires a “snap” of a draw to release the gun. Unlike a leather holster that would have more of a smooth pull of a draw. Practicing your draw is always done with an unloaded gun, always. Have a family member or friend watch and observe to verify that while you are drawing, the muzzle of the gun is not covering any part of your body. Practice in front of a mirror if no one is available to watch you or better yet, videotape yourself and you can see and study your draw technique.
What I focus on here, are the basics of safely drawing your gun from any holster. These same principals apply to all holsters but you will need to practice the clearing of any clothing and the reach required to get a solid firing grip for each type of holster and location. It is MOST recommended to carry your gun on your strong side, on your waistband or in the waist area. If you are right-handed, the gun is worn on the right side with the grip of the gun in the proper position for you to grasp and draw your gun with the correct grip. It is preferred that you are not reaching across or around your body.
A smooth draw is dependent on three things:
- Proper equipment selection (e.g., firearm, holster, even clothing)
- Placement or location on the body
Read my article on Women’s Holsters for Concealed Carry
SPEED WHEN DRAWING YOUR GUN
Every second matters when you are in a potentially life-threatening situation. Although speed when drawing your gun is important, it can be a danger if you do not have proper technique and are not competent at drawing your gun. If you aren’t willing to practice drawing your gun you should not carry your gun. You put yourself and potentially others at risk if you are fumbling and very slow to draw.
Drawing your gun under stress requires muscle memory that can only be created through training and practice. If you carry your firearm concealed, drawing your gun from under your clothing must be practiced. You can practice drawing as part of your Dryfire practice with an unloaded gun. I practice my draw 5 times with my unloaded gun once I am dressed for the day and have secured my holster. When you are ready and if your range allows, incorporate drawing from your holster during your live fire practice.
IMPORTANT: Do not start with speed in mind. Focus only on technique. The better your technique, the faster you will become once you start speeding things up. Get the motions down pat before worrying about your speed.
Practice with all of your concealed and carry holsters if you regularly wear more than one style.
The basic motions in drawing a handgun:
Move your firing hand over the grip of your firearm. Release any retention system your holster may have. Grip the handgun firmly with the supporting fingers while keeping the trigger finger straight along the slide, outside of the holster. Your non-dominant hand should be to the side or placed on your stomach. This may vary depending on the holster and its location. The key is that your non-dominant hand is out of the way to avoid it being in front of the muzzle of the gun at any time.
Pull the firearm directly up and completely out of the holster keeping the trigger finger straight along the slide. Raise the muzzle of the gun straight up as high as necessary to be above the top of the holster.
Rotate your wrist and lower your elbow of your firing arm. Point the muzzle of your gun down range at your target. Disengage any manual safety your gun may have.
When the firearm passes your stomach, move your support hand toward the firearm and get a good firing grip on it. Extend your arms into a good firing position. Begin to focus on the front sight during this extension and focus directly, on your front sight.
The Basic Motions In Re-Holstering Your Gun
Re-holstering your gun utilizes the same motions as drawing your gun – only in reverse.
With your trigger finger out of the trigger guard area and extended alongside the frame of the gun.
Pull the firearm back to the close contact position and place your support hand on your stomach or where it is not in front of the muzzle of the gun.
Engage your safety and rotate your wrist and raise your elbow and align the muzzle of the gun with the opening of the holster.
Push the gun straight down into holster until it is secure.
Be sure to maintain a full firing grip on your gun until you have completely secured the gun in the holster.
Re-engage the retention system on your holster if it has one.
Although different holsters will have different draws, the same principles apply. Clear the muzzle of the gun from the holster without covering any part of your body. Keep your trigger finger out and along the frame of the gun at all times until such time you are ready to fire and always keep a firm grip on your gun.